Collection: Centennial History of Missouri

Biography of Quitman U. Newell, M. D.

Dr. Quitman U. Newell, gynecologist and obstetrician, has followed the tendency of the age. toward specialization and in this branch of the profession has developed wide capability and power, bringing him to a prominent position in the ranks of the medical fraternity in St. Louis. He was born in Whistler, Mobile county, Alabama, June 14, 1886, and is a son of William H. and Minerva A. (Thompson) Newell. The father, a native of Louisiana, belonged to one of the old families of New York of Scotch-Irish descent. He became a pattern-maker by trade and had long followed that pursuit. His people removed from the Empire state to Alabama during the period of the Civil war and William H. Newell continued a resident of the south until his death, which occurred June 13, 1919, when he was sixty-nine years of age. His wife, a native of Mississippi, was of English lineage. She is living at the age of sixty-nine years, making her home in Whistler, Alabama. Dr. Newell, who was the seventh in order of birth in a family of four sons and five daughters, obtained a public school education in his native city and afterward entered Barton Academy at Mobile, while later he began preparation for his professional career as a student in the medical department of the University of Alabama, from which he was graduated on May 9,...

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Biography of Edward C. Simmons

Edward C. Simmons had passed the eightieth milestone when he was called from his activities to the world beyond. His career had indeed been a most active and useful one. He was numbered among those men to whom St. Louis attributes her development and her greatness. He entered the commercial circles of the city when a lad of sixteen years as an apprentice to the hardware trade in the store of Child, Pratt & Company on Main street, near Vine. From that time until his death his course was marked by a steady progression that ultimately gave him world leadership in connection with the hardware business until he stood at the head of the largest enterprise of this character not only in America but in all the world. It has been said that opportunity never knocks at the door of one who is not ready to receive her. At every point in his career Edward C. Simmons was watchful of those chances which would permit him to take a forward step and he was never afraid to venture when the way was open. The story of his life is certainly an inspiring one. Born in Frederick, Maryland, on the 21st of September, 1839, he was but seven years of age when brought by his parents, Zachariah T. and Louise (Helfenstein) Simmons, to St. Louis, where he became a public...

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Biography of Murray Carleton

In the year 1873 Murray Carleton entered the business circles of St. Louis in connection with the wholesale dry goods trade, but while he has steadily developed his interests and has won notable success in founding and conducting the Carleton Dry Goods Company, this represents but one phase of his activity, for at all times the subjective and objective interests of his life have been well balanced. He has ever recognized his duties and obligations to his fellowmen and has been a contributing factor to the promotion of many lines of work which have had for their object the betterment of conditions and the uplift of the individual. His life, broadly useful as well as substantially successful, should serve as an inspiration to the young and a source of encouragement to all. Mr. Carleton is a native of Cumberland, Maryland, and the son of a merchant and railway contractor, Henry D. Carleton, who resided in that city. From an early age the present St. Louis merchant has been dependent upon his own resources and made his initial step in business as an employee in a newspaper office in his native town when a lad of thirteen years. There he remained for a period of six years, gaining valuable experience in his newspaper training, for such a work always brings the indiĀ­vidual wide and comprehensive knowledge of things current in...

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Biography of Harvey S. McKay, M. D.

Thorough study in the leading medical centers of America and of Europe has well qualified Dr. Harvey S. McKay for successful practice and he has won particular prominence in the field of surgery, being identified as surgeon with several of the leading hospitals of St. Louis, while his private practice is extensive and important. Dr. McKay is numbered among Missouri’s native sons, his birth occurring in Troy, Lincoln county, October 1, 1878. His father, Dr. Solomon R. McKay, also a native of Missouri, is of Scotch descent. He is well known as a physician and surgeon, having long practiced following his graduation from the St. Louis Medical College in 1876. In politics he is a republican and for sixteen years was postmaster of Troy, Missouri, being very prominent as a party worker and at all times loyal to every cause or interest which he espouses. The same spirit of unfaltering devotion to the interests of the country was manifest by his father, Dr. Samuel H. McKay, who served with the Union army during the Civil war and who as a physician and surgeon became widely known as a representative and valued member of the profession. The mother of Dr. Harvey S. McKay was in her maindenhood Julia Alexandre, a native of Missouri and of French and Irish descent. Her father, Ignatius Alexandre, was a native of France, while her...

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Biography of William C. Steigers

William C. Steigers, who has passed the seventy-fiftb milestone on life’s journey, has through an extended period been closely identified not only with the business development but with the civic progress of St. Louis and has the distinction of being the oldest living past exalted ruler of St. Louis Lodge, No. 9, B. P. O. E., his identification therewith dating from 1882. St. Louis numbers him among her native sons, his birth having here occurred September 15, 1845, on Market street between Third and Fourth streets and the house is still standing, his parents being Francis I. and Sarah (Price) Steigers. The father was engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery business and spending his youthful days under the parental roof William C. Steigers attended the Wyman school and afterward the Christian Brothers College, the, Laclede and Washington schools and other educational institutions of St. Louis, until September, 1862, when he enlisted in the Eighth Missouri Regiment at the age of seventeen years, or one year before the youth of the country is regarded as of military age. The south was conscripting, the north drafting and every volunteer, regardless of age, was welcomed as a hero if he could carry a gun. The war was being fiercely waged and the air was surcharged with patriotic excitement. No boy born for a life of strenuous action as was young Steigers...

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Biography of Newton W. Amos, M. D.

Dr. Newton W. Amos, a physician of St. Louis, was born at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, January 26, 1867. His father, Adam Amos, was a native of Alsace Lorraine and came to America in 1856, making his way direct to Cape Girardeau county, Missouri, where he built the first blacksmith shop of the place. There he resided until 1871 when he removed to Smithville, Bollinger county, and in 1873 he removed to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where afterward he established his home in Allenville, Cape Girardeau county, Missouri, his death there occurring in 1875. During the Civil war he was a member of the Cape Girardeau Home Guard. He married Anna Litzelfelner, a native of Austria, who came to America with her parents at the age of six years, the family settling in Cape Girardeau county, where Mrs. Amos was reared and educated. By her marriage she became the mother of three sons, of whom the youngest, Benjamin, is now deceased, while Robert, the eldest, is a resident of Allenville. Dr. Amos, the second in order of birth, was educated in the district schools of Cape Girardeau county before attending the Southeast Normal at Cape Girardeau, after which he won a teacher’s certificate and entered upon educational work. He taught in Cape Girardeau county for seven terms, but regarded this merely as an initial step to other professional labor and at...

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Biographical Sketch of Ernest Lucas

Ernest Lucas, secretary of the Rubelmann-Lucas Hardware Company of St. Louis, was born in Gasconade county, Missouri, on the 2d of February, 1860, and is a son of George and Amelia (Prosch) Lucas. He supplemented his public school education by study in Johnson’s Business College and thus qualified for the active and responsible duties of life. He started upon his business career as a salesman in his father’s grocery store in 1877 and after three years’ preliminary training there of a thorough character he came to St. Louis in 1880 and entered the employ of Rubelmann & Company, hardware dealers, and through the intervening period of forty years has been associated with the business. In July, 1885, upon the incorporation of the RubelmannLucas Hardware Company, he became one of the directors and the secretary and has continued in this official connection with the business. He is a member of the Missouri Athletic Association, also of the Liederkranz Club and he largely finds his recreation in fishing, but the major part of his time and attention is concentrated upon his business affairs and the house of which he has now been a representative for four decades largely stands as a monument to his keen business discrimination and indefatigable...

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Biography of Hon. Frank Landwehr

Hon. Frank Landwehr, judge of circuit court at St. Louis, was elected to this position in 1918 and since taking his place upon the bench has displayed the most scrupulous care and exact justice in the performance of his judicial duties. St. Louis claims him as a native son, his birth having here occurred February 8, 1884. His father, Frank Landwehr, came to America when a lad of fifteen years, during the late ’40s, making his way direct to St. Louis, where he resided until his death, which occurred in 1893, when he was fifty-two years of age. He devoted his attention to merchandising and was very successful in his business affairs. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Caroline Suever, also came to America when a young maiden of thirteen years. She, too, made her way to St. Louis and in this city was married. Nine children were born of this union, three sons and six daughters, Judge Landwehr being the, eighth in order of birth. The mother passed away January 16, 1918, at the age of seventy-five years, living to see her son reach a prominent position as a representative of the bar but not to see him take his place upon the bench. Judge Landwehr pursued his early education in the grade and high schools of St. Louis. He then entered upon the study of...

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Biography of Shirley D. Gregson

Shirley D. Gregson, president of the Gregson Furniture Company of St. Louis, was born at Ava, Illinois, January 9, 1878. His father, James M. Gregson, was also born in Illinois and in 1888 removed to St. Louis where his remaining days were passed, his attention being devoted to various lines of business. His death occurred October 28, 1917. The mother bore the maiden name of Lou Barker and was twice married, being Mrs. Lou Brickey, a widow, at the time that she became the wife of James M. Gregson. She was born in Kaskaskia, Illinois, and married Mr. Gregson at Red Bud, Randolph county, Illinois, in 1874. She is living at the age of seventy-three years. By her former marriage she had a son, H. L. Brickey, and by her second marriage her only child is Shirley D. Gregson of this review. Under the parental roof Shirley D. Gregson remained through the period of his boyhood during which time he was acquiring a public school education. In 1895 he started in the business world by handling household fixtures, etc., as a member of the firm of Gregson & Company and in 1913 this business was incorporated under the name of the Gregson Furniture Company, with S. D. Gregson as the president, Monroe Price vice president and J. A. Roof as secretary. The company today handles a large line of...

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Biography of Herbert S. Gardner

Herbert S. Gardner, president of the Gardner Advertising Company of St. Louis, was born December 22, 1872, in Warsaw, Missouri, his parents being Nicholas S. and Susan Frances Gardner. The father was a merchant of Warsaw, Missouri, at one time and afterward lived at Appleton City, Missouri, where he continued in business for a number of years. In 1887 he came to St. Louis and was associated with the Brown-Dougherty Company, in the wholesale dry goods business. In later years he retired and passed away in 1891. For several years he was a member of the state guard of Missouri. Has wife was the daughter of John M. Holmes of St. Louis, who died when Mrs. Gardner was but a small child, and she afterward made her home with her uncle, Charles Holmes, who was a well known citizen of St. Louis, where he engaged in business as a cracker manufacturer and dealer. Mrs. Gardner survives her husband and resides in St. Louis. Herbert S. Gardner, of this review, was educated in the public schools of St. Louis and at the old Polytechnic school, then located at Seventh and Chestnut streets. He afterward worked in the public library under Frederick Crunden, who was librarian for a number of years. In November, 1888, he entered the employ of the Frisco Railway Company, in the accounting department, doing clerical work and...

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Biography of Cyrus F. Blanke

Cyrus F. Blanke, president of the C. F. Blanke Tea & Coffee Company of St. Louis, was born October 24, 1862, in Marine, Illinois, a son of Fred G. and Caroline (Ortgis) Blanke. The father was born in Germany and came to America in 1847. He carried on general merchandising at Marine, Illinois, for a number of years, but his marriage was celebrated in St. Louis. To him and his wife were born ten children, seven sons and three daughters, of whom Cyrus F. is the fifth in order of birth. Four children, three sons and a daughter, have passed away, while those who survive are: Emma, the widow of Charles Spies; Maude, the widow of Harry Amanda; Albert G., who is engaged in the real estate business in St. Louis and who married Lillie Verborg; Richard, who wedded Hazel Thompson; Fred; and Cyrus F. of this review. The last named was educated in the public schools of Marine, Illinois, and also attended a commercial college in St. Louis, thus qualifying for the responsibilities of business life. He started out as a clerk in a retail grocery store in St. Louis when sixteen years of age and between the ages of seventeen and nineteen years was a clerk in a St. Louis wholesale tobacco factory. He then became connected with the Steinwender-Stoffregen Coffee Company and acted as collector for...

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Biography of John Julius O’Fallon

John Julius O’Fallon is a capitalist of large interests, partly received through inheritance and since largely increased through judicious investments. He is financially interested in many important business concerns which annually yield to him a substantial revenue. He was born in St. Louis, March 6, 1840, and is a son of Colonel John and Caroline Ruth (Schutz) O’Fallon. The father figured prominently in the history of St. Louis during the first half of the nineteenth century. Viewed through the perspective of the years, it is seen that he was active in fashioning the civilization of the city during its formative period. He was born near Louisville, Kentucky, November 17, 1781, and died in St. Louis, December 17, 1865. For nearly nine hundred years the O’Fallons have figured in Irish history. The first mention of them was in the year 1017, when King Brian-Boru was killed in a battle with the Danes at Clontarf. One of the clans that fought under Brian was that of Faolan, chief of the Desie of Munster, and which was led on that occasion by Mothla, Faolan’s son. After that they were called the O’Faolans, later the Phelans, and still later the O’Fallons. In the year 1170 Malachi O’Fallon, Prince of the Desies, in connection with O’Ryan of Idrone, commanded the Irish troops at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion. It was this Malachi O’Fallon...

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Biography of Douglas B. Houser

Douglas B. Houser, vice president of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, was born in this city August 28, 1892, and is a son of the late Daniel M. Houser. The father was born in Washington county, Maryland, December 23, 1834, and was a son of Elias and Eliza Houser. He was a youth in his fifth year at the time of his parents’ removal to Clark county, Missouri, whence they came to St. Louis in 1846. He had no educational advantages other than those afforded by the public schools and the year 1851, when he was sixteen years of age, saw him facing the problems of the business world with a career of success or failure before him, as he should make it. His first service was in a humble capacity in the workrooms of the Union, a newspaper which was merged into the Missouri Democrat upon its purchase by the firm of Hill & McKee. The history of its evolution is contained elsewhere in this volume. It is inseparably interwoven with the annals of St. Louis and its record omitted from history’s pages would leave but a garbled version of growth and development here. Marshall Field, master of finance and merchant prince, gave this advice to young men: “Try always to be ahead of your position and increase your efficiency.” Although the words were not uttered at the time...

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Biography of Frederick (Friedrich) Muench

Frederick Muench, one of the early German pioneers in this State, was born in a small village in Hessen-Darmstadt, on June 25, 1799, the son of a Protestant minister. He received his early education from his father, then completed a three years course at the Gymnasium in Darmstadt in two years and entered the University of Giessen in the fall of 1816. Following in his father’s footsteps he took up the study of theology, but soon became interested in the movement which at that time was spreading throughout the German universities and which had for its object the fostering of a spirit of liberty and the revival of a love of country which had all but disappeared as a result of the Napoleonic invasion. He was an enthusiastic follower and an admirer of Charles Follen (Follenius), who was the leader of this movement at the University of Giessen, and who later came to this country and became the first head of the German Department at Harvard. He had passed the prescribed examination by the end of 1819 and before he was twenty-one years of age, was a duly ordained minister of the gospel. Although installed as his father’s successor upon the letter’s death, the life of a country vicar did not long satisfy him. His interest in the political agitation which was spreading throughout Germany and which was to...

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Biography of Frederik Gustave Bardenheier, M. D.

Dr. Frederik Gustave Adolph Bardenheier, who is well known in professional circles as a specialist in the treatment of diseases Of the ear, nose and throat, was born in St. Louis, April 13, 1881, and he has chosen to make the city of his nativity the scene of his professional labors and successes. His father, Philipp Bardenheier, came to the United States in the early ’50s and won success along commercial line. The mother, Mrs. Helen Bardenheier, arrived in this country from the Rhine region of Germany some time after her future husband crossed the Atlantic. Dr. Bardenheier was educated in the parochial and public schools of St. Louis and later pursued a preparatory course prior to entering upon his medical studies. He attended the Marion Sims Beaumont Medical School from 1899 until 1903, in which year he was graduated on the completion of the regular four years’ course. He afterward spent two years in the St. Louis City and Female Hospitals, gaining that broad, varied and valuable experience which is never as quickly acquired in any other way as in hospital practice. He subsequently devoted two years to the general practice of medicine and surgery and then went abroad to complete his studies by specializing on diseases of the ear, nose and throat in medical centers of Germany and Austria. He has been very successful in the line...

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